Used cellphones a resource to be tapped

(China Daily)
Updated: 2017-05-25 07:49:45


A RECENT SURVEY shows that about 50 percent of users replace their old cellphone with a new one every 18 months. As a result, there are about 1 billion used cellphones nationwide with only 2 percent of them being recycled. Beijing Youth Daily comments:

Where are the other 98 percent of the 1 billion used cellphones? Most of them stay in people's homes and it is common for each family to have one or two used cellphones left in a dusty corner at home.

That's a huge waste of resources. The market for recycling used smartphones has enormous potential that is yet to be exploited. There are huge opportunities for recycling enterprises.

Data show that about 150 grams of gold, three kilograms of silver and 100 kilograms of copper could be extracted from every ton of used cellphones. Besides, some parts of the used cellphones, for example the battery, pose a risk to people's health and the environment.

There are several reasons why people are reluctant to recycle their used phones. Some worry that the information stored in their memories might be recovered, while some feel the price of selling used smartphones is rather low.

With smartphones now the main product in the market, people are changing their phones more frequently. Neither the electronics recycling industry nor users were prepared for such a change.

To tap the potential of recycling cellphones, the government could offer subsidies to recycling companies, so that they can raise the price they offer to purchase used cellphones. This would encourage more people to sell their used phones for recycling. It is time authorities considered this possibility for the benefit of all.

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